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Collins New Naturalist Library (109) - Islands Hardcover – 5 Feb 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; First Edition edition (5 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007267371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007267378
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 799,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘[Berry’s] superb Islands has taken 20 years to come from commission to publication – and it has been a professional lifetime in the living … It's the mixture of science and romanticism that gives Islands its charismatic texture: hard-won data, garnished with passion and fancy.’
Robert Macfarlane, Guardian

‘A magnificent review of what makes British and Irish islands special for wildlife, written in an engaging and readable style by one of our foremost geneticists.’
Stephen Moss, Guardian

About the Author

R. J. Berry was Professor of Genetics at University College London from 1978 to 2000. He has been President of the Linnean Society, the British Ecological Society, the European Ecological Federation, and the Mammal Society. His island research began with studying moths in Shetland in 1959 and then mice on Skokholm in 1960. He has since worked on many other British islands, the Faroe Islands, and islands in the sub-Antarctic and Pacific. This is his fourth New Naturalist. He is the author of ‘Inheritance and Natural History’, ‘Natural History of Shetland’ (jointly with Laughton Johnston) and ‘Natural History of Orkney’, amongst numerous others.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By BioDiplomacy on 1 April 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book to treasure - the author is totally in love with his subject and it shows on every page.

It is the latest addition to the authoritative Collins New Naturalist Library, to which Professor Berry has already contributed books on the natural history of Shetland, of Orkney and on Inheritance and Natural History. "Islands" is a grandly simple title. Do not be misled, however, by his modest description: "This is a book about the biology of the islands around Great Britain and Ireland." It is that...and much more: his interest in and experience of islands is holistic and global, going far beyond his speciality - genetics.

Two pages of text on unique island species include references to Madagascar, New Guinea, New Zealand, St Helena, Hawaii, Polynesia, Madeira, Deserta Grande, Tristan da Cunha, the Azores, Mauritius, Réunion, Rodriguez, St Kilda, Papa Westray, Scalpay, Tasmania, Galapagos and New Caledonia. Only three are islands round Great Britain, though two more are part of the scattered UK overseas territories whose unique biodiversity remains a British responsibility.

This richly scientific explanation of why islands matter out of all proportion to their area or human population - and many fewer of the islands round Britain and Ireland now have year-long residents - will delight island-lovers, islomaniacs and nissologists. It is, however, not just for those who, like the author when young, were bewitched by Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island and Arthur Ransome's fictional Wild Cat, Crab and Mastodon Islands.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dr. G. E. Smart on 9 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book with excellent photographs of the most important islands around the coasts of the UK together with very good descriptions of their respective flora and fauna.Eminently suitable for both the academic and non academic student of natural history.G.E.Smart.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Beaumont on 8 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent study of the islands surrounding the coastline of Britain. Despite it being an academic textbook, part of the acclaimed New Naturalist series, Professor Berry has succeeded in writing a book that is eminently readable. Highly recommended for anyone interested in our coastline.Islands (Collins New Naturalist Library)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
A geneticist falls in love with islands 1 April 2009
By BioDiplomacy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a book to treasure - the author is totally in love with his subject and it shows on every page.

It is the latest in the authoritative Collins New Naturalist Library, to which Professor Berry has already contributed books on the natural history of Shetland, of Orkney and on Inheritance and Natural History. "Islands" is a grandly simple title. Do not be misled, however, by his modest description: "This is a book about the biology of the islands around Great Britain and Ireland." It's that, but much, much more: his interests in and experience of islands are holistic and global, going far beyond his speciality - genetics. Two pages of text on unique island species include references to Madagascar, New Guinea, New Zealand, St Helena, Hawaii, Polynesia, Madeira, Deserta Grande, Tristan da Cunha, the Azores, Mauritius, Réunion, Rodriguez, St Kilda, Papa Westray, Scalpay, Tasmania, Galapagos and New Caledonia. Only three are islands round Great Britain, though two more are part of the scattered island overseas territories whose unique biodiversity remains a British responsibility.

This richly scientific explanation of why islands matter out of all proportion to their area or human population - and many fewer of the islands round Britain and Ireland now have year-long residents - will delight romantic island-lovers, islomaniacs and nissologists. It is, however, not just for those who, like the author when young, were bewitched by Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island and Arthur Ransome's fictional Wild Cat, Crab and Mastodon Islands. For islanders - those who live on small islands, proudly but often precariously (there is a terrific chapter on "Survivors and Non-Survivors: the Consequences of Island Life") - there is much here to help them explain to outsiders ("strangers" in Pitkern, the official language of Pitcairn) why their island homes are so special and should be treated with respect.

As with all NN books, the editing and production are impeccable. Robert Gillmor's cover design gives a St Kilda Wren's eye view over the cottages of Village Bay on Hirta, flanked by the serrated outline of Dun, with puffins in flight overhead. Such memories that view brings back! 246 illustrations (many fine colour photographs, maps and tables when the topic needs them), a rich bibliography, a good index - add on Amazon's discount and this is the bargain of the year.
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